September 25, 2018 7:30 pm


Status Scheduled

Group Board of Trustees

Location 300 Portwine Road Riverwoods, IL


September 25, 2018 – 7:30 P.M.

• BOT – September 4, 2018
1. Discussion of Riverwoods Rd. and Deerfield Rd. safety paths.
New Business

Old Business


• Litigation, Acquisition, Property, and Personnel
• Board of Trustees – Tuesday October 2, 2018- 7:30 PM


Village of Riverwoods

Board of Trustees Meeting

September 25, 2018



In Attendance:

Cheryl Chamberlain
Michael Haber
Henry Hollander
Rick Jamerson
John Norris, Mayor
Absent was;

Kristine Ford
Eric Goldstein
Also Present:

Bruce Dayno, Police Chief
Irene Gagerman, Village Clerk
Patrick Glenn, Village Engineer
Bruce Huvard, Village Attorney
Hal Roseth, Village Treasurer
Rob Durning, Director of Community Services
Call to Order:  7:30 PM

Approval of Minutes

Trustee Chamberlain moved to approve the minutes from the September 4, 2018 Board of Trustees meeting.  Trustee Jamerson seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.

Treasurer’s Report

Mr. Roseth noted that the Village is starting to take action on moving some funds from the savings account to the investment accounts.  Interest rates are ticking up.  The cash summary report shows a $100,000 up tick since last month.  Mr. Roseth discussed the current benchmarks which are slightly above 2 percent. The Village’s portfolio is yielding slightly under 2 percent.  The Village will have just under $2 million coming due in the next 90 days which the Village will reinvest with a maturity of 1 to 2 years and which should yield between 2.4 and 2.6 percent.    Mr. Roseth noted that everything is looking pretty solid.

Trustee Jamerson noted that all of the external agency plan review expenses should be charged to the permit applicants, not against the building department revenues.  Mayor Norris will check into it.

Engineer’s Report

Mr. Glenn reported that the road program is on pace in several areas within the Village.  He spoke with Nicor and they will disconnect the gas later this week for the property next door.  The demolition is scheduled to begin next week.

Director of Community Services

Mr. Durning received a call from a North Riverwoods resident regarding an air raid shelter in the woodlands on her property that she does not want.

Plan Commission Report

The Plan Commission met in September and will meet next week to continue their discussion on the Comprehensive Plan.

Police Report

Chief Dayno presented highlights from the Police Report since the last Board of Trustees meeting.  He noted that a squad car got totaled by a DUI driver.  The Village received a check from the insurance company for $34,525 and is expecting an additional $1,000 after subrogation.  A bid from Stasek Chevrolet was slightly lower than the State bid coming in at a cost of $36,252.  The police report is attached to the end of the minutes.

Village Attorney Report

Mr. Huvard was contacted by a new developer for the 37 acres who asked for information.  They are interested in building apartments and townhomes.  Mr. Huvard suggested a meeting with the Village planning consultant for some initial discussions about some key design concepts.

Mr. Huvard noted Lake County DOT will meet with representatives from Federal Life and Colonial Court regarding possible areas for storm water detention.  They are also considering the Village owned parcel, depending on what happens with their discussions.

There will be a TIF Public Hearing at the October 16, 2018 Board of Trustees meeting.  To his knowledge, the Village has not received any comments. Mr. Huvard has been in touch with Federal Life about the TIF District, and they are pretty aware of what the TIF district is about.  He reached out to the principal at Brentwood, but has not heard back.  The Village has received the first TIF increment for the CubeSmart development in an amount just under $9,000.

The Village received an inquiry for the possible formation of an SSA on Meredith Lane, which would be SSA#33.

Verizon submitted an initial lease proposal for the water tower in the amount of $2,150 per month and a 2% annual escalation, contingent on their due diligence.

Representatives from Ravinia Green contacted Mr. Huvard about outdoor lights.  Currently, the Village does not allow outdoor lighting of playing courts.  Mr. Huvard told them that the Village would look at it. Trustee Chamberlain questioned how that would impact the neighbors.  Trustee Hollander asked him to consider the noise factor as well.  Mr. Huvard will ask Ravinia Green for possible locations.

Mr. Huvard reported that the Village has had a couple situations where a tenant has not taken care of a rental property.  The Village may want to consider requiring registration of rental properties.  Trustee Chamberlain believes that when the utility bill transfer takes place, it would indicate whether it is a rental property.  She suggested tying into that process so it is not duplicated.  Mayor Norris noted that not all rentals are reported as such to the Village, thus the reason for discussing possible registration.  He added that other municipalities require registration and that the IML recommends renter registration.  Trustee Hollander indicated that the Plan Commission struggled with how to deal with rental properties.  They would like to find out how many rental properties are in the Village to see how big the issue might be before regulating them.

The company that wants a group home in the Village may be ready to submit for an actual property and asked what is required for submittal.  The current standards are the same as what is required by Federal laws.  Mr. Huvard noted that the Village will want to know about accommodations and staffing and asked the Trustees to let him know if they want additional information.

Lastly, Mr. Huvard noted that no progress has been made on aesthetics for the small cell wireless facilities. Trustee Jamerson said that he would take a look at it.

Informational Items & Comments from the President

  • Discussion of Riverwoods Road and Deerfield Road Safety Path

Mr. Glenn is having the paths inspected. He will bring a recommendation to the Board next week.  Trustee Chamberlain noted, for the record, that there is a big distinction between safety paths and bike paths.  She noted that our safety path does connect to bike paths and that sometimes people confuse them.  She added that there are two bike paths that connect to bridges within the Village.

  • Halloween Party

The Village Halloween party will take place on Saturday October 27, 2018.

  • Notifications

Trustee Chamberlain did not receive a notice of the water increase nor the Town Hall meetings about the Flatwoods Heritage Center.  She expressed concern because if she did not receive it, she wondered how many other residents did not receive it as well.  Mayor Norris noted that the notice of the water increase will be included with the water bills.  He will look into why Trustee Chamberlain did not receive the Town Hall notifications.

Visitors Wishing to Address the Board

Kathryn Romanelli, a Thorngate resident, addressed the OSLAD resolution that is on the agenda.  She asked for a verification that the grant submission will include all of the items on the list distributed at the public meeting and will cost about $1.2 million.  Mayor Norris affirmed that to be the case but noted that the Village has trimmed down almost $100,000.  Ms. Romanelli also understood that if the Village is given the grant, any significant changes or scaling back on the proposal would be difficult.  Mayor Norris replied that if the Village removed major elements, they would probably lose the grant.  Ms. Romanelli asked if the Board submits a plan costing $800,000, would they still receive a grant of $400,000.  Mayor Norris replied affirmatively.

Ms. Romanelli then discussed possible redundancies in the plan.  She expressed concern about the restrooms and drinking fountain.  The Village has restrooms and a drinking fountain in the Village Hall.  If there are programs, the Village Hall could be open to allow access.  She is concerned about the basketball court, as it is a want not a need.  Having two grouping areas (fire pit and eco stage) is redundant.  She likes the proposed patio area.  The woodland education and restoration could be trimmed, because the Village has the other woodland restoration education area.

Mayor Norris noted a number of the things that Ms. Romanelli brought are being discussed.  If there are redundancies, the Village would not lose any major elements.  Ms. Romanelli would suggest going into the grant submittal conservatively and adding elements if desired.  Trustee Chamberlain asked that her comments be submitted in writing.

Al Blitz, a 23 year Thorngate resident, believes the project exceeds basic community needs.  If the grant goes through, the $800,000 project would not be in sync with what the community needs beyond the young families.  He believes that the possibility for a grant is pushing the board into a decision that may be more logical if completed in phases based on defined community needs.  There is a Thorngate playground that is not used 90% of the time. He questioned the program marketing and ongoing maintenance costs.  The Village needs to consider the implication of the short term, medium term and long term budgets.  Mr. Blitz asked the Trustees to keep these considerations in mind, when determining whether to pass the resolution.  Mayor Norris took exception with the statement that the Board is being driven by the grant. He noted that the Board is just trying to remain eligible for the $400,000 grant. Trustee Haber noted that the grant will potentially be available next year as well.  Mayor Norris noted that the funds have not been available the past two years and is not sure if funds will be available in the near future.  He wants to keep the door open, should the Village move forward.  Mr. Huvard noted that it will take 6-8 months before the grant is awarded.  The Village could continue to discuss the project and get feedback from the residents but, in order to be eligible for the grant, they have to submit the application by October 1st.  Mayor Norris added that the comments from the public have been split for and against the project.

Russ Romanelli attended the meeting on Saturday September 15th.  He is not a fan of the project and believes the biggest issue is demographics.  Riverwoods does not have the demographics for this project to be successful.  We do not have the population density or sidewalks, by design.  It would be difficult for kids to ride their bikes to get there.  A recent example of a failure for the same reasons is the demonstration center.  It is not easy to accumulate a large number of children or adults, due to those factors.  Mr. Romanelli does not want to offend anyone. He has a lot of respect for the Board and the RPC.  Having said that, he wanted to make a point about the relationship between the Board and the RPC. The RPC makes a very big point about doing their work through donations, but has lobbied the Village for this project.  Beyond that, a Trustee sits on the RPC Board that is asking for money from the Village and that same Trustee may be awarding that money, which he believes is a conflict of interest.

Approval of Bills

Trustee Jamerson moved to approve the bills.  Trustee Chamberlain seconded the motion.  The motion passed by the following vote:

AYES:  Chamberlain, Haber, Hollander, Jamerson (4)

NAYS:  None (0)

New Business

  • Resolution 18-09-10 for Authorization of the OSLAD Grant Program

Mayor Norris noted that if the Village backs out of the grant after it has been awarded or makes significant changes, they would not be able to apply for the grant for 2 years.  He believes the Village should keep the possibility open and could withdraw within the next few months without penalty. If the Board votes to pass the Resolution, they are not committing to moving forward with the project. Mayor Norris added that the Village must come up with reliable cost projections for both the construction and subsequent maintenance. In addition, the Village needs to get feedback from the residents. A Resolution passed tonight does not mean this is a done deal.

Trustee Jamerson moved to adopt the Resolution.  Trustee Chamberlain seconded the motion.

Mr. Huvard addressed Mr. Romanelli’s statement regarding a possible conflict of interest. He noted that a conflict of interest would be if the Trustee had a financial interest in the RPC; or a conflict of interest could occur if the Village were paying money to the RPC. Mr. Huvard stated that if he felt that a Trustee had a conflict of interest, he would point that out to the Trustee.

Trustee Haber expressed concern that the Trustees have not properly vetted the plan with the community.  If the community determines they need or want the project, the Village could implement the project without the grant.  He believes the Trustees are allowing the grant to drive the process.  The Trustees need to make a decision based on the needs of the community. The Village may want something more or something scaled back, and the Board can apply for a grant in a year or two.  The Village has not surveyed the community properly. The RPC has been driving the plan.

Trustee Jamerson noted that the RPC initially drove the campus plan but is not driving this plan.  They were not involved in hiring the consultant that drew up this plan. He asked the Mayor to verify that the Resolution is to state the Village has the money to match the funds from the grant.  The Mayor confirmed that. Trustee Jamerson also understands that the Village is not in jeopardy of putting themselves in a bad light with OSLAD unless they get the grant and turn it down or change the plan and are disqualified.  He believes the Village has a window of opportunity to talk with the public as well as solicit additional comments and feedback from the residents.  He is not sure this plan is perfect, but the Village has the opportunity to get $400,000 for something the Village residents want and will use.  He thinks the Village should stay in qualification to get the grant.

Trustee Haber noted that the Village will not be able to scale back or remove unneeded elements if they receive the grant and will be forced to complete the project regardless if it is what the residents want.  He believes the Village needs to determine what they want first and apply for a grant next year. He does not understand why this grant is so important to a Village that has $12,000,000.

Trustee Hollander reassured Trustee Haber that if the Village gets the grant and finds out the community is not in favor of it or if the Board decides to scale it down, he would not vote for it.  The idea of using our own funds, without the grant, is valid.  He agrees that the Village could do the project without the State funding.  Trustee Hollander believes that the 2 year penalty may not be a bad thing. Personally, he agrees that the Village does not necessarily need all of the elements in the plan. However, he doesn’t see why the Village would deny themselves the opportunity when there is no practical downside to going forward with the grant. Therefore, he feels we should take advantage of it and then spend a little more time deciding if is this is what the Village really wants and if the Village is willing to pay for it if the grant is not awarded to us.

Trustee Chamberlain noted that the idea of a comprehensive plan and designing something started when the Board discussed the Village Hall.  The first group to come up with a plan was the RPC.  The Mayor asked Trustee Chamberlain and Trustee Goldstein to be part of a committee to come up with a plan and see what commonalities it had with the RPC’s plan.  Her committee found and recommended landscape architects. She has given a lot of thought to the residents’ opinions; she reached out to people for clarification and found some general agreement on some basic items and disagreement on other things.  The common theme is that our residents want a central gathering place.  They also want to educate people why Riverwoods and the woodlands are so great. The real question is how to go about achieving this gathering place in a ‘Riverwoods character special kind of way’. She wants the plan to be the best plan they can come up with regardless of a grant. She agrees with the rest of the Board that they need to be clear on what the residents want. The plan is not final and Trustee Chamberlain is not certain she would support all of the proposed elements.  She thinks it is important to look at the costs and understand the additional maintenance and personnel costs.  Trustee Chamberlain would like to have a monthly check-in to determine whether or not to move forward.

Trustee Haber noted that several of the Trustees do not support all of the elements in the plan. It seems that a majority of the Board has concerns with the scope or specifics in the plan. Yet, the Village is making a representation to the State that if we receive the grant, we will do this plan.   The Village cannot build a different plan and get the grant. It has to be this one.

Trustee Jamerson clarified that the Village would not have to build the plan exactly as submitted, but would only have to include all of the elements in the plan. He added that he had a concern with the budget that was created. As a contractor, he sees items that should be but aren’t there.

Mayor Norris noted that the Resolution simply states that the Village has the money. There is no penalty for withdrawing the application before the grant is awarded.  The Village could withdraw before the grant is awarded and resubmit in 2019.

Trustee Chamberlain stated that if our residents don’t want a particular element, the Village will take it out and withdraw the application. She is not sure if she wants all of the elements or whether the plan should be scaled down or souped up because the Village has not heard enough from the residents. She sees this as an opportunity to potentially receive extra money for a project that the Village will do anyway.  Trustee Chamberlain has no interest in doing something that is merely grant driven.  All of the included elements in the plan have also been requested by residents.  Whether each element is kept is yet to be determined.

The motion passed by the following vote:

AYES:  Chamberlain, Hollander, Jamerson (3)

NAYS:  Haber (1)

Trustee Jamerson would like a timetable that sets milestones for when we want to get more public comments, construction estimates, etc. He would like it added as a standing item on the agenda. Trustee Hollander expressed a concern with the process going forward. The Village tends to hear from residents when they are against something.  He feels that the Village needs to make an effort to find out if individuals are in favor of something, what it is they want. Those individuals tend not to show up, not to give their opinions, not to write to the Board. He doesn’t know how to go about getting a sense of what these residents want, but feels that is it important to determine that. Trustee Chamberlain stated that the Village’s consultant has several ideas of accomplishing that. She suggested that she bring some of those ideas to the Board. Trustee Haber stated that first the Village needs to determine what is wanted by the community. Next, the Village needs to determine if the majority of the community wants it. Mayor Norris summarized that the consensus of the Board was to try to get a large sample of opinions to determine what the majority of residents want.

Old Business

There was no Old Business.


There being no further business or discussion, Trustee Jamerson moved to adjourn the meeting.  Trustee Haber seconded the motion.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:20 PM.

The next regular meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for October 2, 2018 at 7:30 PM at Village Hall.

Respectfully submitted,

Irene Gagerman, Village Clerk

Transcribed by Jeri Cotton



Police Report


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